Uncertainty reduction theory suggests that the self, the partner, and the relationship constitute three sources of uncertainty within interpersonal relationships; however, existing operationaliza-tions of uncertainty focus predominately on partner issues. More recent extensions of the uncertainty construct to developed relationships call for a measure that both captures the range of uncertainty as originally conceptualized and attends to the uncertainty issues relevant in ongoing associations. We conducted a study of individuals in dating relationships to develop a measure that assesses the sources and content of relational uncertainty. Results identified three content issues for uncertainty focused on either the self or the partner: desire for the relationship, evaluation of the relationship, and goals for the relationship. Uncertainty about the relationship encompassed four content issues: behavioral norms for the relationship, mutuality of feelings between the partners, current definition of the relationship, and future of the relationship. A second-order factor analysis demonstrated that whereas uncertainty about self versus partner were empirically distinct, items assessing relationship uncertainty cross-loaded on both the self and partner uncertainty factors. The discussion highlights how a more nuanced conceptualization of relational uncertainty can inform future investigations.
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